BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After his side were thumped 4-0 by Malaysia Super League (MSL) side Kuala Lumpur in their second round FA Cup tie on Saturday, Kuching FA head coach Ahmad Fairuz Yunus admitted that the odds had always been stacked against his men for the match.
The FAM Cup side were able to hold their own for most of the match that was held at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium, Cheras, but could not stay solid defensively throughout the whole of the 90 minutes, and failed to turn their ball possession into meaningful chances in the final third of the pitch.
Kuala Lumpur (KL) star forward Guilherme de Paula, who before the match had failed to score in any of the Hawks' first four matches of the season, finally ended his dearth in style on Saturday; by scoring a hat-trick through goals in the 21st, 65th and 90th minutes. The Brazilian even had a penalty saved in the 87th minute. His compatriot Paulo Josue was the other goal scorer in the match; with his 48th minute strike.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Fairuz offered several reasons for the heavy defeat against the MSL strugglers.
"Admittedly, our attackers were not clinical tonight, and that needs to be worked on before our next match.
"KL had the advantage of experience over my team; they have former and current Malaysian internationals. On top of that they have foreign players while we have none, which made our job even more difficult.
"We were up against an MSL side, my men have done their very best. I am satisfied with the way they played and to have reached this far, and that my men were able to challenge KL until the final whistle. We accept the result and would like to congratulate KL," explained the former Sarawak player.
However, with their cup campaign over, the Kuching, Sarawak-based side can now concentrate fully on their league campaign; and according to Fairuz they are gunning for promotion this season.
"Last year we reached the quarter-final stage in the play-offs. This season, we want to go further, to win promotion to the second division by reaching the play-off final.
"This is our second season in the competition, so we'll utilise the experience we've picked up from 2017," he remarked.